I'd like to upgrade Vista Home to Vista Ultimate on my desktop computer. I have a MSDN subscription, which means I can download just about every Microsoft software there is. However, there doesn't seem to be any Vista anytime upgrade DVD available in the MSDN downloads section.

Is there any way to upgrade using the regular Vista Ultimate installation disc without performing a clean install?


3 Answers 3


Based on the original poster's comments, it looks like he's answered his own question.

As an alternative, consider using the Windows Easy Transfer tool to save documetns and settings, then use the 'clean install' option, finally re-run the Windows Easy Transfer tool to restore documents and settings.

Better still, get the Windows 7 RC and install that instead.

Vista's 'clean install' actually doesn't do a clean install. It will move the existing installation to a folder called Windows.old, where you'll be able to access all your documents. Sometimes, if you don;t have a lot of programs to reinstall, this is easier than using Easy Transfer, you can just drag'n'drop your files back to the new My Documents folder.


You should be able to upgrade to Vista ultimate using the standard Ultimate media, you should just run the installer from inside Windows and it should offer the upgrade options.

You may want to run the Vista upgrade advisor first to ensure your PC is capable of running Vista Ultimate.

Ensure you are running the CD inside windows, not booting from it.

  • The regular installation dvd only offers me a clean install. Regarding Vista compatibility: I AM already running Vista Home. How could my PC not be compatible with Premium? The upgrade advisor or rather targeted at XP users. Commented Jul 12, 2009 at 11:07
  • Are you booting from the CD? If so you will only get the clean install option. You need to run the CD inside windows when booted to get the upgrade option. Vista Ultimate has greater system requirements than Vista home, hence the suggestion to run the upgrade advisor.
    – Sam Cogan
    Commented Jul 12, 2009 at 11:22
  • I've tried loading the setup program while running vista home. Still, there is only the option to perform a clean install. Commented Jul 12, 2009 at 11:26

You could try downloading the torrent of the Anytime Upgrade DVD and see if your MSDN key works with that. Not a 100% legal option (though with your own key it is probably more legal), but if you really want to do an in-place upgrade it is an option.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .